Handling A Child With Panic Disorder (Couples Must Face This Hand-In-Hand)

 

When you’re in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, having the thought of a family sometimes lingers. But when you get married and become a parent, a lot of struggles arise. Having a child is never easy, and there have been instances where bearing children have placed strains on marriages, especially if the children suffer from behavioral issues or mental illness. However, this shouldn’t stop you or scare you away from being a good parent and an understanding spouse.

 

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No matter what happens, you and your spouse must never turn away from each other. It is difficult to have a child with extra needs, and it is during this time your love for each other is tested. Be patient and strong. Your wife or husband needs you now more than ever during this trying time.

 

So let’s move on from this and focus on your child with PD.

 

Does My Child Have Panic Disorder?

 

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“The majority of children with anxiety never receive treatment,” says Golda Ginsburg, PhD, a psychologist and professor at the University of Connecticut Health. So have you observed that your child worries too much? When you struggle with panic disorder or PD, you’re always in a constant state of fear and worry, even if there’s no real reason. It is also often paired with physical symptoms such as:

 

 

  • Chest pain
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating excessively
  • Feeling of choking
  • Palpitations
  • Tingling sensations

 

 

It’s excruciating to see your child going through a panic attack. Most of the time it develops and arises without warning. It can last for a few minutes or even longer, making it difficult to determine a pattern. Once this is happening, your child may fear that he’s going insane and he starts to isolate himself. When your child grows older, you may also notice that he is manifesting some behavioral changes.

 

Furthermore, he may even have a risk of developing agoraphobia, wherein an individual avoids places or situations that may trigger a panic attack.

 

It can take a toll on the development of your child, his future relationships, and the way he deals with life.

 

How To Help Your Child Cope

 

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First of all, it is best to have your child referred to a professional. It’s better to have a medical diagnosis instead of jumping to conclusions. Multiple treatments can help your child cope, and the therapist can educate your child about his condition.

 

Making relationships work and raising a child is always a team effort. You and your partner should be in this together to be able to give your child the best solution to his issues. Bceuase according to Katie Hurley, LCSW, “it can be very difficult to watch a child struggle with anxiety, but the goal of the parent is to help the child learn to tolerate and cope with the feelings, not to try to remove all potential triggers of anxiety from the child’s life.”

 

Educate your child. It’s best to inform your child about what he is currently experiencing. At his age, he may not have a concrete idea of anxiety and panic disorders. Encourage and assure him that he shouldn’t hide his feelings. He should not be afraid of it. Also, tell your child that the worry he is developing is often excessive. Perhaps you can tell him that it’s not his fault to shoo away from feelings of self-blame.

 

Always stay positive and supportive. Never criticize your child for being in a state of worry. Praise or show him that you’re genuinely happy whenever he makes progress or shows a positive behavior. Continuous positivity, care, and support can comfort your child and remind himself to do better.

 

Keep it balanced. “Babying” your child too much can slow down his progress. It’s good to listen to your child’s worries, but you need to make him realize that he has to help himself as well. You won’t always be around for your child, so he needs to practice strategies in self-coping. With that said, you can teach your child some relaxation and breathing techniques. Remind him that he can do it by himself. Remember what Donna B. Pincus, Ph.D. says, “it’s a natural human emotion; yet unlike the other emotions, when someone feels anxious, we try to tell them to relax, to push down the anxiety and not feel it.”

James Bramblett